Summer 2020, Remote Work, and COVID-19 [What Do We Make of the Mix?]

In short:

  • Remote work takes just as much of a mental and physical toll on you as a regular day at the office
  • Summer 2020 is canceled (in a way)
  • The power of staycation is not to be underestimated

It could almost be seen as rude to ask someone of their plans for this summer, given the unfolding events of the last few months. 

Once bringing a jolly smile to our faces, the matter of summer vacation is a topic that, much like anything nowadays it seems, is quite the downer on our collective mood. 

We’re excluding, of course, from this conversation the COVID-19 non-believers. 

You’ve seen on Instagram their summer adventures and were it not for the trying-so-hard-not-to-look-paranoid waiter sporting full pandemic gear while setting cocktails on tables, you wouldn’t think these individuals live in this same forsaken timeline as the rest of us do. 

But enough with giving attention to lost causes, instead, let’s focus on what we can still safely make do, for our own sake to enjoy the summer season. 

Summer 2020

Seriously, don’t be a cry baby about it. 

If you’re healthy and able to still provide for yourself during a worldwide epidemic, you’ll figure the rest out as it comes. This summer may be compromised, and, sure that’s a bummer, but it’s not like all the previous summers of your existence have been peppered with viruses with no existing cure, just like many of the coming ones won’t be either. 

You should be having a firm grasp on those bitterness levels with legitimately everybody on the planet going through the same thing at the same time. 

The entire (self-aware) world is sitting this one out.

Work hard, play hard – an absolute must

Precisely so that they don’t feel like they are wasting time, many have committed to get occupied and emerge as better human beings at the end of this. 

The work and play scales might have been severely tipped toward finding ways to hustle disregarding downtime completely because oh well I’m at home in my pajamas anyway

But wearing comfier fabrics, not having to endure long commutes or the fact that you can play your music loudly on your speakers as you go through your daily tasks doesn’t take anything away from the fact that you are still doing work. 

Therefore, your burnout is nothing to be kept under wraps. 

Since you’re so lucky to be comfortable and at home, it is a very real possibility that your company might have indirectly guilt-tripped you into putting in a few more extra hours here and there paid in their eternal gratefulness of course. 

If you’ve gone down this slippery slope solo or with the steady help of a corporate push, allow me to remind you that you’re at home in an attempt to keep safe from an ongoing pandemic. Nobody’s doing you any favors. 

So when it’s time to clock out, clock out, and when you feel the need to take some days off, do that.

Staycation is the new vacation

The one thing you must do to make a staycation work is commit to it. 

How do you commit to a staycation? The same exact way you do with a regular vacation i.e. you take the time to plan for it. 

For a regular vacation, you normally think through how and for how long you’re going to disconnect from your daily routine. This includes not showing up at the office; if you speak to work colleagues, keeping the conversation casual, steering away from any work issues; and if you’re a sleep enthusiast you might even give up your morning alarm for as long as your time off lasts. 

For someone who has been working remotely, disconnecting might have a different look than it would under any other circumstances. 

  • Still, it should start with dropping or altering your day to day activities because the only way to convince the mind that is trapped inside the house that these staycation days are different days than those experienced last week when you were working is to actually put in the effort to make them different. 
  • Say during the work week you wake up super early and after a few Instagram scrolls you open up your Google calendar to refresh your memory regarding what’s on that day’s to-do list. Perhaps on your staycation you can allow yourself to wake up whenever your body tells you to and then lazily give it a couple more scrolls on Instagram than you usually do. 
  • Or if you’re used to set your coffee mug next to your computer as you check the emails that have come in overnight, staycation allows you to actually sip your coffee on your balcony away from anything that requires your immediate attention. It’s highly likely you’ll fall in love with its aroma all over again. 

You might also be pleasantly surprised to reconnect with the version of yourself that’s not in a constant state of alertness, multitasking and stress. Yes, as much as the work week persuades that person out of the spotlight, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s still a real and needy part of who you are

Don’t get me wrong, learning and actively practicing how to respond to these sorts of stressors is a life skill that you’d want to know how to master in an always speeding ahead 21st century. But much like any kind of learning you engage with tuning out, reflecting, redefining, and resting are just as much part of the process if anything useful is to come out of it.

Opinion and Commentary

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